The Pokémon Company Breaks Silence On Palworld, Says It Is ‘Investigating’

The Pokémon Company Breaks Silence On Palworld, Says It Is ‘Investigating’

Since Palworld launched five days ago, the internet has been arguing up a storm about whether the monster-catching survival game plagiarised designs for its Pals from Pokémon, given the glaring similarities spotted by keen-eyed users. While developer Pocketpair has previously indicated that it is not concerned about a Nintendo lawsuit, The Pokémon Company has acknowledged the Palworld situation in a new statement, saying it intends to investigate any intellectual property infringements.

“We have received many inquiries regarding another company’s game released in January 2024,” The Pokémon Company statement reads. “We have not granted any permission for the use of Pokémon intellectual property or assets in that game. We intend to investigate and take appropriate measures to address any acts that infringe on intellectual property rights related to the Pokémon. We will continue to cherish and nurture each and every Pokémon and its world, and work to bring the world together through Pokémon in the future.”

While the statement doesn’t mention Palworld by name, it may as well have. It’s pretty clear which game the statement is referring to, though it is purposefully vague on the specifics. The Pokémon Company could be talking about recent Pokémon mods for Palworld, just as easily as it could be referring to the game itself. Palworld has reportedly sold over seven million copies in less than a week, and if you’ve been anywhere near gaming Twitter, it’s just about all you’ll see being talked about right now. 

There are two camps online: those who love Palworld for its blend of monster-catching and survival-crafting elements and those who allege some pretty serious claims of plagiarism (alongside allegations of AI usage). Some users have gone to the lengths of comparing Pal designs alongside those of Pokémon, such as the Grintale, which appears to share the same face as Galarian Meowth, and what looks to be Xerneas’ long-lost cousin

Despite the allegations, there’s been no concrete confirmation from either Palworld developer Pocketpair or The Pokémon Company about whether any hard and fast copyright infringement is taking place. Pocketpair CEO and lead developer Takuro Mizobe spoke to Japanese gaming outlet Automation recently and said that Palworld had cleared legal reviews regarding intellectual property and copyright infringement, with no legal action taken against the developer (as of yet). “We make our games very seriously,” Mizobe said. “And we have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.”

Despite Pocketpair’s assertion that all is well in the Palworld camp legally, it looks like The Pokémon Company has its eye on the new breakout hit after all. We’ll be keeping a lookout for any updates on the situation should it escalate beyond just investigations.

Image: Pocketpair

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